As with most aspects of business, the area of employee benefits is rapidly changing during “the new normal.” Adapting to a post-pandemic business environment, companies must be able to differentiate and increase the appeal of their benefits as it becomes increasingly difficult to attain and retain skilled employees. The leverage employees have over employers has increased dramatically. Here are five trends in employee benefits that have occurred as a result.
When the pandemic first arrived, the global business environment was shocked as companies were now forced to adapt to the use of remote work. This caused lasting changes in businesses’ operations and employee interactions. Having worked from home and experienced a remote work environment, employees now understand the value of a flexible schedule. Whether it be reduced working hours, remote work, or a hybrid work model, offering flexibility should be a top priority for employers searching for talent on the job market.
Prioritizing Mental Health Services
In recent history, the global focus on mental health and the well-being of employees has seen a dramatic increase. Now, more than ever, employers are offering mental health services to prevent burnout, increase productivity, and ensure employee motivation and satisfaction. These services include Employee Assistance Programs, resiliency and stress training, more comprehensive health insurance plans that include therapy or counseling, and more.
Rising amount of PTO
Outside of monetary benefits like insurance, paid time off (PTO) may be the most highly regarded employee benefit. According to a Glassdoor survey, PTO often proved to be more desirable by employees than pay raises. The appeal of PTO for these employees is obvious—who doesn’t want increased flexibility for vacation days, sick days, or any other desired time away from work? However, the benefits of PTO for employers are also being increasingly realized. Allotting a higher amount of PTO is correlated with a reduction in unscheduled absences, higher employee morale, and higher employee productivity.
Childcare has always been an obstacle for parents attempting to balance a career and proper care for their children. In recent years, this obstacle has become even more difficult to maneuver—the pandemic has forced many parents to change their childcare arrangement. Whether it be paying for pricier daycare or childcare services, reducing working hours, or even quitting their jobs in hopes of finding a more flexible schedule, parents have had an especially difficult time adjusting to a post-pandemic schedule. That is why many companies are now offering on-site childcare options, stipends to cover daycare or nanny costs, and other childcare-related benefits.
One of the more obscure benefits that has seen a rapid increase in popularity is pet insurance. During the pandemic, the pet market boomed as many people desired a furry friend to accompany them during quarantine. Although these “pandemic pets” increase mental well-being, they can come at a high price. Veterinarian bills can be unexpected and increasingly expensive, thus leading to a high desire for pet insurance.
As it becomes increasingly difficult to compete on the job market, employers must find a way to stand out. By following these trends in employee benefits, employers can ensure the satisfaction and well-being of their employees, thus leading to higher retention of skilled workers, as well as greater success in the search for talent.